Literary Techniques In The Things They Carried

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Tim O’Brien has outstandingly portrayed what the life of a soldier in and out of the Army during the Vietnam War is in his own distinctive way of fictional writing. O’Brien is especially known for this book because of the way he switched from a narrative to a conversational writing style. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien constantly uses multiple literary devices to make his remarkable war stories seem as if the reader were actually there to experience the situation for themselves. Throughout the story, O’Brien tends to use symbolism to explain his short stories. Also, scattered through the stories dark satire can be found, which makes these stories a bit more intriguing. All these devices and his unique writing style come together and …show more content…
He does not just mean that they hump around a bunch of tools used in the war, but the physical and mental burdens that come along with the war and the job of being a soldier. To this day it is so obvious that when a soldier comes back they face difficulty adjusting back to civilian life. A great example from the story to back this up is the passage where the author expresses the hardships of Norman Bowker. O’Brien writes that, “[O’Brien] received a long, disjointed letter in which Bowker described the problem of finding meaning for his life after the war.” And that he had hanged himself a few years later after O’Brien wrote a book based on Bowker (pg. 155). There was no telling what led Bowker to taking his own life, but the fact is that men that come back from war almost always bring back burdens along with …show more content…
According to the criticism of ENotes “Critics assert that the central theme of The Things They Carried is the relationship of storytelling to truth.” I suppose that O’Brien’s writing style could be mentionable but it is not the theme of this story. In conclusion, O’Brien set a brand new standard on how war stories from Vietnam were told. He used such a unique way of depicting his experiences both though fiction and non-fiction. The use of symbolism, satire, and irony all make this book a bit more intriguing. His transitions from a conversational to a narrative book caught the attention of the reader as they felt as if it were all so real to

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